trimming fruit trees

Resol6000March 11, 2014

I was wondering if its still okay to trim my fruit trees. I have the feeling that maybe it would be better for me to wait till next fall. should i trim them or leave them alone? anyone out there with any experience?
they are apple, pear, cherry, plum and peach trees.

anyone out there in TN that has started planting yet?

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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Are you worried that the trees are too young/small to be pruned or that the seasonal timing is off?

If you are concerned with the seasonal timing, right now is THE very best time to prune most trees (including fruit trees). Actually there are two good times, and the benefits of each of these times depends on the type of pruning you are doing.

For shaping and maintenance pruning, now is the time. For controlling vigor (keeping those apple and pear trees in check, in other words), mid to late summer is best. Pruning cuts made now will be covered over by the tree more quickly than when the tree is pruned at other times. Rapid wound coverage prevents rot and minimizes pest and disease opportunities.

Pruning done in mid to later summer is beneficial, for controlling vigor, because the tree will not try to rebound as much as it will if pruned this time of year. If you remove lots of wood, you don't want your fruit tree to send up a ton of vigorous water shoots, and pruning in mid to late summer minimizes that problem. That timing will also be early enough that what regrowth does occur will have time to harden off some before the winter season, when tender new growth can be easily damaged by very cold temperatures.

You can actually do either type of pruning this time of year, but summer pruning just saves you a lot of work (less rebound reduces need for lots of water sprout removal and may reduce pruning required for next year) when your goal is controlling vigorous growth.

I hope that answers your question. Please let me/us know.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 10:11PM
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